09 May Father Steve’s Bible Study Notes for Days 274 – 279
Notes for Day 274:
Ezekiel 11-12: In Ezekiel 11:1-13; we read about the judgement on the wicked counselors. We immediately begin reading about some of the wicked people in verse 1; the 25 men; with some of them being named for devising iniquity against the LORD. A reference is given that Jerusalem is a “pot” that protects the “meat”. The meat being the 25 evil men. Ezekiel prophecies that the city will no longer be the protecting pot. In Ezekiel 11:14-22; we read that the LORD will restore Israel. In Ezekiel; we read about Judah’s captivity. The LORD tells Ezekiel that the people do not use their eyes, or ears; because they are a “rebellious house”. Ezekiel is instructed to pack his baggage for the exile. He is told to prepare for getting out of the land that the LORD is going to destroy. Ezekiel is to do all these preparations in their sight. Ezekiel is then instructed to dig a whole in the wall, and carry his luggage on his shoulder through the whole. The LORD’s saying about how the evil ones do not use their eyes and ears comes true. In Ezekiel 12:8-9, when the LORD ask Ezekiel why the house of Israel does not question his packing and digging a whole in the wall. We then read further in Ezekiel 12, that the evil ones of the house of Israel do not believe that the LORD is going to bring judgement on them; the LORD’s actions will be postponed. Ezekiel 12 ends with the LORD saying that none of his words will be delayed. The question to ask ourselves. Do we think that the 2nd coming of Christ will never happen in our lifetime? Just a thought.
1 John 5: I ask you to read through 1 John 5 again, and write down on paper any verse that stands out. Place this verse somewhere so you can see it often – in your car, truck, or on your refrigerator. To me; practically all of 1 John 5 stands out; but there are several verse that tell us about how our faith in Jesus conquers this world that is filled with evil, hate, and all the other bad stuff.
Notes for Day 275:
Ezekiel 13-14: In Ezekiel 13; we read about condemnation of the false prophets. In Ezekiel 13:6; we read about the lying false prophets who use divination. If you remember (or need to go back) to my notes on Deuteronomy 18:10-11, and The Book of Acts 16:16-38 (the imprisonment of Paul and Silas for healing the the slave-girl who was practicing divination). Divination is an abomination to the LORD. A person who practices divination are your palm readers, fortune tellers, and physics who claim to speak to those from the dead. The notes for Deuteronomy 18:10-11 are on day #69, and the notes for Acts 16:16-38 are from day #122. In Ezekiel 13:17; we read about how Ezekiel is to set his face against the daughters of your people (prophetess); who prophecy by their own imagination. In Ezekiel 14; we read about how God’s judgement is justified. The LORD does give the people a chance to repent and return to him (Ezekiel 14:6-6). In Ezekiel 14:21-23; we see the four modes of punishment. These are repeated from Ezekiel 5:16.
2 John: Today; we look at the short Second Letter of John. The author of 2 John calls himself “the elder”. The writing of this letter was probably written the same time and place a 1st & 3rd John; which is in Ephesus around 100 A.D. The Letter of 2nd John places an emphasis on those who do not believe in Jesus. Those who try to turn people away from the truth of Jesus are “deceivers”. Those who do not confess Jesus as the Incarnate Word of God are to be seen as the antichrist! Jesus brought us not only Eternal Life, but also the Commandment of Love.
Notes for Day 276:
Ezekiel 15-16: In Ezekiel 15; we see God referring to the inhabitants of Jerusalem similar to a useless vine that has been burned for fuel. In the long chapter of Ezekiel 16; Jerusalem is understood as God’s adulteress wife. God had provided for “his wife” (Jerusalem); but Jerusalem “cheated on God”; “But you trusted in your beauty, and played the whore because of your fame, and lavished your whorings on any passer-by” (Ezekiel 16:15). We see the word “whoring” and “whore” all through Ezekiel 16, as describing Jerusalem. In Ezekiel 16:35-43; God is going to punish Jerusalem by using the foreign nations with whom Jerusalem (she) has committed adultery. In Ezekiel 16:62; we read that God will ultimately absolve Jerusalem of her sin.
3 John: Today we finish the Letters of John. The addressee in 3 John, Gaius, is unknown. Unlike 1st & 2nd John; 3rd John contains no discussion of doctrine or love. Instead, it praises Gaius for his hospitality and criticizes a person named Diotrephes, for opposing the elder. In 3 John; verse 11; we read the following; “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil but imitate what is good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.” Can you think of anyone that would fit into this category; good or evil?
Notes for Day 277:
Ezekiel 17-18: In Ezekiel 17; we read about the two eagles and the vine. These sayings involve riddles and allegories (hidden meanings). You can bring both of these riddles and allegories to summation in verse 24; “All the trees of the field shall know that I am the LORD. I bring low the high tree, I make high the low tree; I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. I the LORD have spoken; I will accomplish it.” In Ezekiel 18; we read about individual retribution. As we have read previously in the Old Testament, and we have also seen in the New Testament; there was a thought that the sins of a father or son, could be transferred to the either. Remember in the Gospel of John 9:1-3, when Jesus heals the blind man; “As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned…” Now in John’s Gospel; Jesus is countering the Hebrew laws (as he normally did), but the point was still thought about the sins being transferred from parents to their children. In Ezekiel 18, the LORD is saying that all people are responsible for their own sins; it is not the faults of others. Ezekiel 18 talks about turning away from your sins that lead to death.
Jude: Today; we read the short Letter of Jude. Jude is Greek for “Judas”, one of the brothers of Jesus (Mark 6:3). The purpose of Jude was to counter the false teachings of the Gospel of Christ. There was a thought among some that since they now were following Christ, they were exempt from all moral authority (verse 8). They thought that the grace of God in Christ exempted them from immorality and sexual indulgence. Jude insists that the faith in the Christian Gospel is inseparable from moral obedience to Christ. This deliberate immorality put their salvation at risk. There is also some “extracanonical literature” in Jude; verse 9, the now “lost ending” of the Testament of Moses. What do you think of verse 7?
Notes for Day 278:
Ezekiel 19-20: In Ezekiel 19; we read about Israel being degraded. In Ezekiel 19:1-14; we see two laments. One using the lion imagery, and the other using the vine symbolism, in order to describe the fate of Israel. In Ezekiel 20; we read a long chapter on Israel’s continuing rebellion. In Ezekiel 20; the word of the LORD comes to Ezekiel, and the LORD reminds Ezekiel about the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. In Ezekiel 20:22-44, God promises to restore Israel.
Revelation 1: Finally; today we come to the last Canonical entry of the New Testament; The Revelation to John (Apocalypse). The common mistake among many Christians is to pluralize Revelation, and call it “Revelations”. There is no “s” in Revelation. Revelation is not an easy book to grasp; and can also be quite “disturbing” to some. The Revelation to John was written by a person named John (1.1,4,9; 22:8). John is a common name in Hebrew, and is anglicized from Johanan. The early Christian writers assumed that the author of Revelation also wrote the Gospel of John, and the Letters of John, and has identified him with John, the son of Zebedee; one of the 12 apostles. This is probably not the case, because the author of Revelation refers to the 12 apostles as authoritative figures of the “past” (21:14). The author simply identifies himself as a servant of God (1:1). Although the specific identity of the author is unknown; the writings directs the author to have a Jewish identity. It is believed that Revelation was written towards the end of Domitian’s reign (81-96 A.D.). But, some scholars believe that Revelation was written earlier during the persecution of Nero (54-68 A.D.) The code name of the beast that we will read in 13:18, is “666”. This number was widely used to symbolize the name for Nero Caesar. Revelation frequently uses “Babylon” as a code name for Rome (14:8; 16:19; 17:5; 18; 18:2,10,21). Revelation is written during a period of persecution of the Christians. Revelation is given a modern label as “apocalypse”. The Greek word for revelation is apokalypsis. The content of this book is the revelation of Jesus Christ. An apocalypse is regarded as a first-person narrative in which the author (normally using the pen name of some famous ancient Biblical figure such as Adam, Abraham, or Enoch) relates one or more revelatory visions about the future, the heavenly world, or both. In Revelation, there is a clash between God and Satan. There is much symbolism in Revelation, and often quite bizarre; as in the Book of Daniel. Revelation has an “interpreting angel” (1:1; 17:1-18; 21:9-22:5). In Revelation 1:4; we read that John addresses the seven Churches in Asia. These seven Churches were located in prominent cities in western Anatolia (modern Turkey) in the Roman province of Asia. All were within 100 miles of Ephesus. Seven is used 57 times in Revelation and symbolizes the divine pattern in both the universe and history. Th author, John, writes that the vision he writes about came to him while he was on the island of Patmos. The Alpha & Omega that we see in verse 8, are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. In Revelation 1:9-20; John writes about his vision of Christ.
Notes for Day 279:
Ezekiel 21-22: In Ezekiel 21; we read about the drawn sword of God that will come against Jerusalem. We read in verse 4; that both the righteous and wicked will fall from the sword. This means that the sword of God is going to be diverse, and there will be total destruction. In Ezekiel 22; we read about a “Bloody City”. Many of the sins that the Israelites have committed, are pointed out.
Revelation 2: In Revelation 2; we read about messages to angels of 4 of the 7 Churches: 1.) Ephesus – Largest city of the Roman province of Asia, seat of the proconsul. 2.) Smyrna – Harbor city 40 miles north of Ephesus (modern Izmir), and center of the imperial cult. 3.) Pergamum – A city of 180,000, was the seat of government in the Roman province of Asia and a major center of the imperial cult. 4.) Thyatira – Modern Akhisar, 35 miles inland, between Pergamum and Ephesus. We already know about Jezebel, that we read in 1 Kings 18-19, and 2 Kings 9.